Quartz
 
Common Chameleon
 
Beautiful Quartz, the 'rock crystal' used in ancient times to make crystal bowls, is today more often seen set in gold and silver jewelry.   Despite the popularity of Quartz gems like Amethyst, Citrine, Ametrine, Rose Quartz, Onyx, Agate, Chrysoprase, Rutilated Quartz and other varieties, many people in the jewelry industry take Quartz for granted because of its affordable price.
 
Throughout history, Quartz has been the common chameleon of gemstones, standing in for more expensive gemstones ranging from Diamond to Jade.   But, the incredible variety of Quartz is now beginning to be appreciated in its own right.
 
Purple to violet Amethyst and yellow to orange Citrine are jewelry staples that continue to increase in popularity.   Ametrine combines the appeal of both Amethyst and Citrine, purple and yellow in one gemstone.   Different colors and types of Chalcedony, from Agate to Chrysoprase, have grown in popularity with the growing appreciation for carved gemstones and artistic cutting and carving.   Unusual specialities like Drusy Quartz, with its surface covered by tiny sparking crystals, and Rutilated Quartz, which has a landscape of shining gold needles inside it, are adding variety and nature's artistry to unusual one-of-a-kind jewelry.
 
 
Rose Quartz
 
The very pale pink and delicate powder pink color of Quartz, which can range from transparent to translucent, is known as Rose Quartz. Transparent Rose Quartz is very rare and, usually, so pale that it does not show very much color at all except in large sizes.  Translucent Rose Quartz is much more readily available, being used for beads, cabochons, carvings, and architectural purposes.
 
 
Smoky Quartz
 
Smoky Quartz is a brown transparent Quartz that is sometimes used for unusual faceted cuts.   The commercial market is limited, because there is a rather limited demand for brown gemstones.   This variety was sometimes known as Smoky Topaz in the past, though the term is incorrect and misleading, for it is not in the Topaz family of gemstones.
 
 
Tiger's Eye
 
Tiger's Eye Quartz contains brown iron which produces its golden yellow color.   Cabochon cut stones of this variety show the chatoyancy (small ray of light on the surface) that resembles the feline eye of a tiger.   South Africa has the most important deposit, though Tiger's Eye is also found in Western Australia, Burma (Myanmar), India and the United States.
 
 
Rock Crystal
A transparent, colorless variety of Quartz is known as rock crystal.   Long ago, people believed that rock crystal was a compact form of ice:  in fact 'crystallos' means 'ice'.   The best rock crystal has the clarity and shimmer of water.   Although colorless Quartz is relatively common, large flawless specimens are not, which is why crystal balls these days are made of glass, not Quartz.   Rock crystal has often been used in jewelry, particularly carved pieces.   Many stunning Art Deco jewelry designs featured the black and white Quartz combination of rock crystal and Onyx.
 
 
Rutilated Quartz and Tourmalinated Quartz
 
While most varieties of transparent Quartz are of greater value when they show no inclusions, some are valued chiefly because of the irregularities!   The most popular of these is known as rutilated Quartz.   Rutilated Quartz is transparent rock crystal with golden needles of rutile arrayed in patterns inside it.   Each pattern is different and some are breathtakingly beautiful.   The inclusions are sometimes called Venus hair.   Less well-known is a variety called tourmalinated Quartz which, instead of golden rutile, has black or dark green Tourmaline crystals.
 
 
Chalcedonies
 
Quartz that is formed not of one single crystal, but a number of finely grained microcrystals, is known as Chalcedony.   The variety of Chalcedonies is even greater than that of transparent Quartz, including cryptocrystalline Quartz with patterns as well as a wide range of solid colors.   Agates are banded.   Bloodstone has red spots on a green background.   Moss Agate has a plant-like pattern.   Jasper sometimes looks like a landscape painting.   Another staple of the jewelry industry is black Onyx, Chalcedony Quartz, which owes its even black color to an ancient dyeing process that is still used today.   Carnelian, another Chalcedony valued in the ancient world, has a vivid brownish orange color and clear translucency that makes it popular for signet rings and seals.   The most valued Chalcedony variety, Chrysoprase, a translucent, bright, apple-green color, was a particular favorite of Frederick The Great of Prussia.   It can be seen today decorating many buildings in beautiful Prague, including the Chapel of St Wenceslas.   Today, Chrysoprase is found mostly in Australia.   Unlike most other green stones, which owe their color to chromium or vanadium, Chrysoprase derives its color from nickel.   Its bright even color and texture lend themselves well to beads, cabochons, and carvings.
 
 
 
 
GB Jewelers, Inc.
Under the Clock Tower
675 SE Marlin Avenue, Suite 1  /  PO Box 999
Warrenton, OR 97146
800-869-1481

Latitude:  46.159033 / Longitude: -123.9055280
 
 
Store Hours: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Monday - Saturday
 
Copyright 1974